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Thousands Protest As G7 Convenes In Germany

About 4,000 protesters gathered in Munich as the Group of Seven (G7) leading economic powers prepared to hold their annual gathering in Germany’s Bavarian Alps. Organisers said they hoped to mobilise up to 20,000 protesters in the Bavarian city and were disappointed by the initial low turnout at Munich’s Theresienwiese park, German news agency dpa reported. Uwe Hiksch, one of the protest organisers, said potential participants might consider it inappropriate to challenge the world’s wealthiest democracies during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We have the impression that many people are unsettled by the war in Ukraine,” Hiksch told dpa. About 18,000 police officers are deployed around the summit site and the protests.

Berlin Housing Rights Conference Demands Immediate Socialization Of Large Real Estate Holdings

Berlin, German - A three-day conference organized by the housing rights group Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen (DWE) or Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen und Co. in Berlin has demanded that the Berlin State government immediately socialize large real estates in the city. The conference held from May 27 to 29 at the Technical University of Berlin discussed tactics for building major housing rights coalitions across the country to tackle the worsening housing crisis. The expropriation initiative also criticized maneuvers by the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) to place technical and legal hurdles in delivering the mandate of the Berlin referendum held in September 2021 for expropriating the property of big landlords.

German Police Attack Palestine Supporters On Nakba Day

The attacks on protesters came after authorities in the German capital banned a Jewish group from holding a vigil in memory of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Al Jazeera correspondent assassinated last week, with all evidence pointing at Israel being responsible. “The gathering in memory of Abu Akleh had been organized by Jüdische Stimme, a Jewish group that supports Palestinian rights,” Al Jazeera reported. “But police told the group that the event – planned to take place on Friday evening – fell under the ban on protests in the run-up to Nakba Day.” Every year on 15 May, which this year fell on Sunday, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba – their 1948 ethnic cleansing from their homeland by Zionist militias, before and after Israel was founded.

DiEM25 Condemns Berlin’s Ban On Nakba Commemorations

In an outrageous attack on Palestinian rights, memory and even identity, the police in Berlin, the capital of Germany, have banned all public commemorations of the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, when over 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes and lands by Zionist militias. The Nakba is commemorated on 15 May, known as Nakba Day or the Day of Palestinian Struggle. Events are being organized throughout Palestine and globally. The events banned by the police include two marches, two awareness-raising tents and a cultural gathering, scheduled for 13, 14 and 15 May. Samidoun Deutschland was the organizer of one of the cancelled marches, Palestine Speaks the organizer of another, and the cultural event was organized by a group of Palestinian community organizations. After the ban, an application for a memorial vigil for Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh — shot dead by Israeli occupation forces — was also prohibited as a “replacement for the banned events.”

German Parliamentarians Call To Stop Extradition Of Julian Assange

"As a cross-party group of parliamentarians of the German Bundestag, we have the honor to reach out to you, and to ask for your attention in a case that is currently of great concern to us, knowing that we share a mutual concern for the protection as well as the implementation of internationally recognized human rights. We have closely followed the fate of Julian Assange in the past; however, the current developments in his case arouse our concern all the more."

Germany: Amazon Workers Strike Over Pay, Data Protection

The German trade union Verdi on Monday launched strikes at seven Amazon locations across the country, with up to 2,500 workers demanding higher wages and better protection of their personal data. A Verdi spokesman said strikes were underway at the two distribution centers in Bad Hersfeld as well as in Koblenz, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Graben and Werne. Some strikes would last several days, he said.   Amazon has 17 distribution sites across the country. The trade union has been trying for almost 10 years to force Amazon to pay workers according to the going rates for retail and mail-order workers.  Amazon has persisted in paying them as logistics services providers. In addition, workers are demanding information about personal data about them that has possibly been recorded by the company.

British Brinkmanship And Myth Of German Neutrality In Ukraine War

Russia’s state investigative body issued a stark warning that it was looking into media reports alleging “sabotage experts” from Britain’s special forces had been deployed to western Ukraine. On Saturday, a defense source told RIA Novosti that at least two teams from the UK’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) forces arrived at a military base near the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. In a statement, the Investigative Committee said it would follow up the report that covert operators had been sent in “to assist the Ukrainian special services in organizing sabotage on the territory of Ukraine.” It was not clear what steps Russia planned to take in response to SAS involvement in Ukraine. But the fact of possible presence of forces from a NATO country is significant, given that Russia had issued warnings it would target weapons supplies in Ukraine.

Germany Deserves A Big Share Of Blame For The Disaster In Ukraine

Nobody is talking about the blame that must be shouldered by the German government for the crisis and humanitarian disaster in Ukraine. Sure Russia is guilty of a huge war crime in invading Ukraine,  Surely too, the US must  be blamed for creating the situation which led Russia and its autocratic leader Vladimir Putin to decide it had to invade to prevent Ukraine from being pulled into the US orbit with the goal that it would ultimately become a base for US offensive weapons — even nuclear weapons — on Russia’s border — something the US would never allow to happen anywhere in its  self-proclaimed “backyard” of Latin America and the Caribbean. But Germany, the largest country in NATO after the US, is almost as guilty for this current war in Europe as is the United States.

Rethinking Land And Relation In Berlin’s Struggle For Housing Justice

Across Europe, affordable housing is being pushed farther and farther out of reach. Homes are increasingly owned not by the people who live in them, but by companies who rent them out for profit. Housing is no longer treated as a public good, but as a commodity and vehicle for wealth and investment. In Berlin, which currently boasts some of the fastest-rising housing prices in the world, the situation is particularly extreme. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1992, private investors flocked to the city to capitalize on the state-supported financialization of the housing market. As of today, more than a quarter of Berlin’s roughly two million apartments are owned by private companies. According to researcher Christoph Trautvetter, more than half of the city is owned by fewer than one thousand multimillionaires.

Germany One Step Closer To Nuclear-Free Future

Green groups on Friday celebrated as Germany prepared to shut down three of its six remaining nuclear power plants, part of that country's ambitious goal of transitioning to mostly renewable energy by the end of the decade. The nuclear phaseout—which was proposed by the center-left government of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder at the turn of the century and accelerated under former Chancellor Angela Merkel following the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan—is a key component of a plan by Germany's new Social Democrat, Green, and Free Democrat governing coalition to produce 80% of the country's power from renewable sources by the end of the decade. Renewables accounted for 43% of German electricity consumption through the first three quarters of 2021, down from 48% during the same period last year, according to Clean Energy Wire.

Berliners Win Vote To Expropriate Housing From Corporate Landlords

On 26 September, Berliners voted to expropriate housing from corporate landlords. This referendum became possible after years of struggle to make housing in the city affordable and available to all again. To understand the issue and the movement that led to this vote, Peoples Dispatch spoke to Anisia Petcu, an activist in the expropriation campaign. She works primarily in the working group Right to the City for All, which focuses on facilitating and amplifying the voices of people without German citizenship within the referendum campaign.

Berliners Vote On Expropriating Housing From Powerful Landlords

Most international coverage of the German elections is focused on who will replace Angela Merkel after her 16-year term as chancellor ends, but for everyday Berliners, just having the resources to pay the rent is a bigger concern. Berlin’s efforts to lower the fast-rising rents in Germany’s capital city have led to a referendum which could expropriate and socialize almost a quarter of a million apartments primarily from Deutsche Wohnen, the largest real estate company in Europe and one of the largest companies in Germany. After years of rising rent forcing many Berliners out of the city, activists led by Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen (Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen, or DWE) received nearly 350,000 signatures from Berliners and managed to force a vote on whether to allow the expropriation of housing owned by landlords with over 3,000 units on the Sept. 26 election ballot.

For A Workers’ Olympics!

We need a Workers’ Olympics as an alternative to the bourgeois Olympics! This might sound like an empty slogan, but the International Workers’ Olympiads took place from 1921 to 1937. The workers’ movement had always organized its own sports competitions. The Workers’ Olympiads let workers from all over the world exercise and compete together. Participants did not march under national flags — instead, everyone used the same red flag as the universal banner of labor.

Housing Should Not Be A Luxury

Unfortunately, access to private space has become increasingly unequal in Europe. This discrepancy has been exacerbated by the pandemic. A lockdown spent on a terrace or in the garden is not the same as one confined in an apartment block. Ever since the end of World War II, sufficient housing supply has been a high priority in the modern market economies of Europe. But after several decades of neoliberalism and a decade of strict austerity, Europe now faces the challenge of how to tackle today’s housing inequality.

US Peace Activists In Germany Join Call For Withdrawal Of Nuclear Weapons

A group of US peace activists has again joined protests at the Büchel Air Force Base in Germany, demanding the withdrawal of the remaining US hydrogen-bombs still deployed there. On July 12 the anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigners, together with colleagues from The Netherlands and Germany, began an “International Week” of protests focused on ousting the last approximately 20 US Air Force nuclear gravity bombs known as B61s kept at the base.* In the depths of the cold war, there were 7,000 US nuclear weapons in Germany, so this remnant seems like hardly more than radioactive waste. With the German group Gewaltfreie Aktion Atomwaffen Abschaffen (Nonviolent Action to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), the US activists will participate in vigils, blockades, and other demonstrations at the gates of the German air base.
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